|For Immediate Release: February 14, 2013||
Reps. Polis and Young Introduce Bipartisan Early Childhood Education Language Based on NAEYC's "Call To Action"
Bill Introduction Comes Two Days After Obama State of the Union Address Calls for Progress on ECE
WASHINGTON—The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s leading voice for high-quality early childhood education for children from birth through age 8, today commended U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Don Young (R-AK) for reintroducing the Continuum of Learning Act, which is based on NAEYC’s Call to Action recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
On Tuesday, NAEYC applauded President Obama for his State of the Union remarks about the need for high-quality early childhood education. (See http://www.naeyc.org/newsroom/pressreleases/naeyc_applauds_early_childhood_focus_in_state_of_the_union.)
The NAEYC Call to Action demonstrates how policies in two of the largest programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act can be retooled to make the impact of high-quality preschool be sustained and built upon as children continue in the education continuum. The Call to Action is available online at http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/policy/federal/Call_Action_112%282%29.pdf.
NAEYC Executive Director Jerlean Daniel said: “The importance of high-quality developmental support and learning experiences for all young children, beginning at birth and continuing through the early grades, is now more established than ever. Preschool is a critical part of the early childhood period, but also it is essential that the success of children in the preschool years be followed through with good education and development support in the early grades.”
Daniel added: “Even with the long-standing ability to use Title I for very young children, this reauthorization provides an opportunity to encourage further state, community and school-level policy changes that reflect what we know is needed to create an effective continuum of development and learning from birth through age 8 that will set the course for every child’s success in school and in life.”
The Polis-Young bill would:
- Have states review and revise their birth through kindergarten standards to ensure they cover all the areas of development and learning, including social and emotional development, and are built in a forward progression based on appropriate expectations for each age and year;
- Promote joint professional development between schools and community-based early childhood education programs for a shared understanding of standards, curricula and teaching practices;
- Provide professional development for elementary school principals in child development and learning;
- Promote appropriate uses of child assessments to improve instruction and services while prohibiting inappropriate, high-stakes uses of assessments of children in second grade and younger as cautioned by the National Academies of Sciences;
- Require states to create teaching certificates that reflect the specialized knowledge and skills of teaching young children for those teaching in the early grades and younger, and that address all domains of young children’s development and learning;
- Help schools evaluate their readiness to support all children’s learning success in the early grades; and;
- Strengthen collaborations between community-based early childhood programs and schools for more effective and supportive transitions for young children.
Daniel said: “NAEYC is very pleased that our recommendations have bipartisan support in the introduction of this legislation, and we look forward to working with members of Congress as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act moves through the legislative process.”
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.